Newly ordained deacons receive the book of the Gospels during their ordination at St. Thomas Aquinas in November 2012 (SUN FILE PHOTO)
Newly ordained deacons receive the book of the Gospels during their ordination at St. Thomas Aquinas in November 2012 (SUN FILE PHOTO)

Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, a patron saint of schools and sacred theology. The Diocese of Phoenix has a parish and an elementary school named after him.

PARISH/SCHOOL FACTS: (Thomas and Litchfield roads in Avondale)

  • Established June 20, 1975 and was the only diocesan parish established that year. Now serves 4,200 families. Detailed parish history.
  • Started as a mission of St. Mary’s Basilica as early as 1913. Ran by a Claretian priest from 1925 to 1943.
  • Later a mission of Our Lady of Perpetual Hep Parish in Glendale and then St. John Vianney Parish in Goodyear.
  • Original location in Litchfield Park, but sold and moved due to growth projections. New church dedicated in 2003, same year the school opened. Still serves preschool-grade 8.
  • Cruciform-shaped parish where Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares was ordained in 2010 and 16 new deacons were ordained Nov 2012.

SAINT FACTS: (1225-1274)

  • among Church’s greatest writers and theologians with Summa Theologiae, being a standard for centuries and the second-most consulted work at the Council of Trent
  • a perfect model of childlike simplicity and goodness
  • a Dominican priest who suffered with the poor and needy. Full bio from Biogprahy.com
  • tender devotion to St. Agnes (who also has a diocesan school and parish in the Valley)
  • nicknamed the “dumb ox” because of his silent ways and huge size, but he was really a brilliant student

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